January Looms, Targets Presented: Etienne Capoue linked with a strong move to Arsenal

With the transfer window looming in 2 weeks it seems we may have a clearer picture to who we maybe seeing at the emirates…………or be linked with various names once again. Eurosport.fr (link below) believes Arsenal are the front runners of trying to sign Etienne Capoue from Toulouse in France. Why is this so key for Arsenal? Because he maybe the solution to a recurring problem in AFC where we have not had a player to stop the gap in midfield (most possibly he’d be a solution to the problem that is Abou Diaby and his injuries.).

Taking a closer look at Capoue, he ticks all the boxes for what Arsenal need at the moment in terms of a midfielder who is able to control the midfield and give his team mates the space to create the opportunities in attack. He is a very intimidating figure in the middle of the park for Toulouse and doesn’t shy away from going into challenges, a very physically imposing midfielder who make sure his defensive duties are first before anything else. A quick glance at his show that he’s one of the best players in the midfield (only behind Matuidi):

Defensive:

Apps=16 Total Per game
Tackle 38 2.4
Interceptions 37 2.3
Fouls 26 1.6
Off Won 5 0.3
Clearances 106 6.6
Was Dribbled 7 0.4
Blk Shots 7 0.4

Offensive:

Apps=16 Total Per Game
Goals 3
Assists 2
Shots 23 1.4
Key Passes 13 0.8
Dribbles 14 0.9
Fouled 46 2.9
Offside
Dispossessed 25 1.6
Turn Overs 19 1.2

Passing:

Apps=16 Total Per Game
Key Passes 0.8
Avg. Passes 67.9
Pass Suc% 80.8
Accurate Long Balls 128/204 8
Accurate Through Balls  1/4 0.1

While he’s not the most offensive minded player he does keep his own area very tidy and provides a position for his team mates to dictate the play. If you look at his stats more closely though you will see his long passes are very good (he completes an average of 8 long passes per game) it shows that his passes are a bit underrated ( though Arsenal don’t play a long ball style it should still give us a better understanding that he can pick out a pass which is key for the style that Arsenal play). Overall, this would be a good signing for Arsenal, he fits the bill for a good defensive minded midfielder but does he actually take the place of Diaby? Perhaps not, mostly due to the fact he’s extremely defensive minded but at this moment in time that is what Arsenal need, a player with the ability to create from the back whilst keeping things tidy and creating the occasional play or two. The stumbling block here is the apparent transfer fee of Capoue which is rumoured to be around 13-14 million euros but it should be noted that Capoue is looking to play in the Champions League and our lure of Champions League football should be able to secure this signing. If Capoue is able to come in to the Emirates it will be a giant step towards a positive direction.

Article: http://mercato.eurosport.fr/football/ligue-1/2012-2013/mercato-arsenal-chelsea-et-le-bayern-munich-lorgnent-sur-etienne-capoue_sto3530182/story.shtml

*all stats provided by whoscored.com

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